‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Reveals First Look at Hayden Christensen in 17 Years

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Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Credit: Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi marks the return of Ewan McGregor to his iconic character, but new promotional images of the limited series that Star Wars fans missed showing the return of George Lucas’ greatest villain in 17 years.

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker (left) and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In just two months, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen are returning to the Star Wars universe, reprising their iconic Star Wars characters in the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series. The new Star Wars story begins ten years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).

McGregor first appeared as the titular character in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) — taking the role from icon Alec Guinness after his appearances in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and the original trilogy.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Darth Vader made his terrifying return, but it wasn’t Hayden Christensen’s Dark Sith Lord under the mask.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Christensen has broken his Star Wars silence and revealed a shocking first look at his Darth Vader:

First look at Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader in #ObiWanKenobi.

In February, it was reported that Hayden Christensen would be appearing as Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Lucasfilm utilizing de-aging technology to include flashback sequences of a younger Hayden Christensen.

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Seeing Hayden Christensen’s actual face will be like the Luke Skywalker reveal in The Mandalorian season two or Andrew Garfield/Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), hence the absence of this Jedi Master in the official trailer:

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Every Star Wars fan did, in fact, get a sneak peek at Hayden Christensen’s Sith Lord Darth Vader in an exclusive photo from Entertainment Weekly, paired with an official statement from Christensen himself talking about his return to the Skywalker saga:

“We’re going to see a very powerful Vader.”

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

EW writes:

… We see Vader appearing to emerge from his meditation chamber, which begs the question: Since the meditation chamber allows the Sith Lord to remove his helmet (as seen in The Empire Strikes Back when poor Admiral Piett briefly admires the back of Vader’s scarred head before the helmet is lowered over it), might this mean we will catch a glimpse of Vader sans mask in Obi-Wan Kenobi?

“I wish I could tell you,” Christensen tells EW with a coy smile on his face. “I’m sworn to secrecy.”

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker

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Kenobi series Joby Harold revealed the immense influence that Darth Vader will have on the series:

“His shadow is cast across so much of what we do. And the degree of his proximity to that shadow is something that we’ll discover. But he is very much a part of the show emotionally for Obi-Wan, and possibly beyond that as well.”

darth vader palpatine
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Though Christensen wasn’t included in Vader’s appearance in Rogue One, he loved what they did with the character:

“I wasn’t a part of any of those conversations about Rogue One. But I loved what they did with it. The character predates me, and it’s always been a collective effort in a lot of ways. I thought it was brilliant.”

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Obi-Wan Kenobi marks the first time fans see Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader character in 17 years, nearly two decades.

“The rematch of the century” teased by Kathleen Kennedy, director Deborah Chow, and Lucasfilm will be supported by Moses Ingram (Inquisitor Reva), Joel Edgerton (Uncle Owen), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.

More about Obi-Wan Kenobi

The story begins ten years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his most significant defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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McGregor recently stated that the most “annoying” part of returning to his Star Wars role was that he knew the series was happening years before Lucasfilm even announced its development in 2019:

“That was annoying. Every interview I ever did for, you know, years, people would say, ‘Well, are the rumors true?’ And I’d have to sort of, I’d have to lie. I’d have to say, ‘Well, you know, I don’t know. I’d be happy to play him one day again.’”

Sung Kang as the Fifth Brother Grand Inquisitor
Credit: Lucafilm

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The world of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), Darth Maul (Ray Parker), Anakin Skywalker (Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch/Temura Morrison), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Jedi Knight Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff)Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, and the Clone War.

Within the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm is moving past Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) or the controversial Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi (2018) as we dive into the Old Republic or explore new realities of the Star Wars universe with each new TV show or the upcoming Star Wars game like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 or Star Wars Eclipse.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is directed by Deborah Chow and executive-produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Deborah Chow, Ewan McGregor, and Joby Harold.

Do you want to see more of Darth Vader? Let us know in the comments below!

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